Digital Forensics MS

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College : Engineering and Computer Science Degree :MS
Department : Computer Science Option : Thesis, Nonthesis
Program Websites :


The Digital Forensics MS program will consider international applicants only on a case-by-case basis. Please contact the program at to determine eligibility before submitting an official application. The Digital Forensics master's degree is a collaborative effort between various UCF academic departments (Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Forensic Science of Chemistry, Criminal Justice, and Legal Studies) and the National Center for Forensic Science (NCFS). NCFS is both a national center, as part of the National Institute of Justice Forensic Research Network of the Department of Justice, and a state Type II Center. NCFS is based in the UCF College of Sciences as a forensic science research center and is housed in Orlando's Research Park, adjacent to UCF.


The Digital Forensics MS degree is comprised of 30 hours of study beyond the bachelor's degree with required, intensive specialization in topics related to digital forensics. The degree program prepares students, including working professionals, who will pursue the degree on a part-time basis to gain the knowledge and skills required to work as an examiner in the field. The program may also be taken by those who have an interest in scientific applications and research in the field, and who would like to continue to a doctoral degree program or law school after completion.
Total Credit Hours Required:
30 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor's Degree

The program offers both a thesis option (6 credit hours) or an opportunity to complete two additional courses (6 credit hours) selected from the Restricted Electives. At least one half of the credit hours must be at the 6000 level.


Undergraduate articulation courses may be required for students with BS and/or MS degrees in fields other than a computer-related field. The articulation courses will be determined by the graduate program director. Students without a computer-related degree must be versed in basic computing and networking knowledge and skills, including computer (PC) hardware, computer operating systems, and computer networking. Appropriate job- or training-related experience may be a suitable substitution, the suitability of which will be determined by the admissions committee. Courses taken to correct deficiencies cannot be used to satisfy minimum degree requirements. Some advanced elective courses require a programming background, specifically in C and C++, computer architecture, and parallel programming.

Required Courses—12 Credit Hours

  • CGS 5131 Computer Forensics I: Seizure and Examination of Computer Systems (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 5504 Topics in Forensic Science (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6207 The Practice of Digital Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CNT 6418 Computer Forensics II: Network Security, Intrusion Detection and Forensic Analysis (3 credit hours)

Restricted Elective Courses—12 Credit Hours


Select two courses.

  • CAP 6133 Advanced Topics in Computer Security and Computer Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CNT 6519 Wireless Security and Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CAP 6135 Malware and Software Vulnerability Analysis (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6386 OS and File System Forensics (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6395 Incident Response Technologies (3 credit hours)
  • EEE 6347 Trustworthy Hardware (3 credit hours)

Criminal Justice and Electronic Discovery 

Select one course.

  • CCJ 5015 Nature of Crime (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 5456 The Administration of Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6074 Investigative and Intelligence Analysis: Theory & Methods (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6704 Research Methods in Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CCJ 6706 Quantitative Methods and Computer Utilization in Criminal Justice or ESI 5219 Engineering Statistics (3 credit hours)
  • CJE 6688 Cybercrime and Criminal Justice (3 credit hours)
  • CJL 6568 Law and Social Control (3 credit hours)
  • CIS 6206 Electronic Discovery for Digital Forensics Professionals (3 credit hours)

Note:  Students can take additional Criminal Justice courses as they fit into a student's research interest and approved Program of Study.

Forensic Science and Legal Studies  

Select one course.

  • CHS 5596 Forensic Expert in the Courtroom (3 credit hours)
  • CHS 5518 The Forensic Collection and Examination of Digital Evidence (3 credit hours)
  • PLA 5587 Current Issues in Cyberlaw (3 credit hours)

Thesis Option—6 Credit Hours

  • CAP 6971 Thesis (6 credit hours)

The College of Engineering and Computer Science requires that all thesis defense announcements are approved by the student's adviser and posted on the college's website and on the Events Calendar at the College of Graduate Studies website at least two weeks before the defense date. 

Nonthesis Option—6 Credit Hours

Students not interested in a thesis can instead enroll in two formal courses (6 credit hours) to fulfill the degree requirements.

  • Take two electives (total of 6 credit hours) from the list of Restricted Electives above

Equipment Fee

Students in the Digital Forensics MS program pay an $82 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled. Part-time students pay $41 per semester.

Independent Learning

The Independent Learning Requirement is met by successful completion of a master's thesis or completing the capstone course CIS 6207.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

The College of Engineering and Computer Science strongly encourages prospective applicants to request a free pre-screening ( of their qualifications prior to submitting an online application for graduate admission. However, a pre-screening is not required; rather, it is offered as a courtesy to all prospective applicants before they commit to submitting a complete online application and paying an application processing fee.

Admissions decisions are made on the basis of a complete online application only, and not on the basis of any pre-screening. Prospective applicants who are encouraged to apply to their intended graduate program based on the information provided for their pre-screening are not assured of admission or financial assistance when they submit a complete online application. Although it is possible, it is not likely, that prospective applicants who are discouraged from formally applying to a graduate program at the pre-screening stage will be admitted if they elect to submit a complete online application anyway.

In addition to the general UCF graduate application requirements, applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • Statement of educational, research, and professional career objectives.
  • Résumé.
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.

Faculty members may choose to conduct face-to-face or telephone interviews before accepting an applicant into their research program. The GRE is not required for admission into this program.

Application Deadlines

Digital Forensics MS *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15Jul 15Dec 1


International Applicants





International Transfer Applicants





*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.